In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Federal law enforcement authorities have arrested an American Muslim on charges that he plotted to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol with model airplanes loaded with explosives. FBI agents posing as members of Al Qaeda sold the man what he thought to be explosives, and he allegedly plotted to:
use three remote control airplanes measuring up to 80 inches (200 centimeters) in length. Ferdaus allegedly planned to pack five pounds (2.27 kilograms) of explosives in each plane, while saving some of it to blow up bridges near the Pentagon.
The planes, guided by GPS and capable of speeds greater than 100 mph (160 kph), would hit the Pentagon and blow the Capitol dome to “smithereens,” according to Ferdaus’ plan, detailed in the affidavit. Ferdaus then planned a follow-up automatic weapons attack with six people divided into two teams, according to the affidavit.
Now, many experts truly doubt that using model airplanes as remote-control bombs would even be possible. According to the Associated Press:
Counterterrorism experts and model-aircraft hobbyists said it would be nearly impossible to inflict large-scale damage of the sort Ferdaus allegedly envisioned using model planes. The aircraft are too small, can’t carry enough explosives and are too tricky to fly, they said.
“The idea of pushing a button and this thing diving into the Pentagon is kind of a joke, actually,” said Greg Hahn, technical director of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
Rick Nelson, a former Navy helicopter pilot who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Ferdaus would have had to hit a window or other vulnerable area to maximize damage, and that would have taken precision flying.
“Flying a remote-controlled plane isn’t as easy as it actually looks, and then to put an explosive on it and have that explosive detonate at the time and place that you want it add to the difficulty of actually doing it,” he said.
Nevertheless, if it is proven that he wanted to kill innocent Americans with those model planes, then he deserves to rot in jail for many, many years – precisely as the criminal that he is.
As an American, I am disgusted by this man’s alleged plans. To plot to kill his fellow Americans because he thinks his country is “evil” is sickening, and I am thankful to the Lord that he was arrested and his plot was foiled. As a Muslim, I am even more apalled: that he would think that our God would command him to commit such an atrocity is immensely offensive.
Yet, as an American Muslim, I am totally innocent of this man’s crimes. I am sure, when news of this arrest had surfaced, that many people pointed to this as “further proof” that Islam is “violent” and that Muslims are nothing but “terrorists.” Yet, this man, if what is alleged is proven to be true, is nothing but a pathetic criminal, and his plot was the product of a sick and twisted criminal mind. We American Muslims have nothing to do with his satanic machinations.
Yes, Muslim extremists cite the Qur’an and other Islamic sacred texts as inspiration for their crimes; and the Pope cited Biblical scripture to justify the Crusades. And during the First Crusade, Muslims and Jews were mercilessly massacred in Jerusalem in 1099. Yes, Muslim extremists say that Islam commands the “murder of infidels”; and the KKK also cited the Bible for their terrorism against African Americans. Yes, Muslim extremists think they are committing God’s will. Yet, so do Christian extremists as well.
No community should be blamed for the actions of its criminals. Ordinary, innocent Americans should neither be blamed nor targeted for the perceived foreign policy crimes of their government. Ordinary, innocent Catholics should neither be blamed nor targeted for the crimes of pedophile priests. And on the same vein, ordinary, innocent American Muslims should neither be blamed nor targeted for the crimes of the extremists acting in their names.
If this man is found guilty for this alleged plot, then he should rot in jail, and he will ultimately face God for his crimes. But, we ordinary, innocent American Muslims – which is the vast and overwhelming majority – having absolutely nothing do with him or his crime at all. Period.